Individuals donate, but do you know how to ask?

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Individuals donate, but do you know how to ask?

  1. 1. Raisers’Ask Jan 2010 I 17Professional agenciescan help captureindividual giving in waysthat make it worth everypaise you pay for theirservices, says ANUPTIWARIbut do you know how to ask?first, let’s deal with that naggingdoubt some of us might have – Doindividuals give enough donations? Ifyou have successfully raised money fromindividuals and think this question isirrelevant, then please skip the nextparagraph. But if not, here’s how to setyour mind at ease.Individuals give most!In the United States, the most advancedfundraising market, individualdonors account for more than 80 percent of the contributions. This figurestands at 75 per cent in the UnitedKingdom, another fairly advancedmarket, and at 78 per cent in Australia.In India, organisations such as CRY,Give India and HelpAge raise up to90 per cent of their resources fromindividuals. In a nutshell, a singleindividual may give a small amount,but as a collective, it adds up to a hugeamount.Spot your donors!So, where are these individuals whowill donate to the cause you support?You see them every day – you walk pastthem on the way to work, you see themat the marketplace, you see them in themovie theatres. They’re all around you,yet, most of us balk at stopping peopleon the streets or knocking on doors andasking for donations. Think about it,though – isn’t this how temples in yourneighbourhood raise money? If they can,why not voluntary organisations?Use the right directmarketing tools!>> Go face-to-faceGreenPeace, for instance, raises mostof its resources in India and in othercountries by stopping people and askingthem to contribute. For more thaneight years, CRY has been sending itspeople to offices and homes to solicitdonations. Oxfam, HelpAge, ActionAidand UNICEF have also joined the partyrecently. This method is called face-to-face fundraising.>> Write a letterBefore the advent of e-mail and SMS,writing a letter to our friends camenaturally to us. Direct mail appeals forfunds work on the same principle – wejust need to relearn to write, and writeto raise funds. There are, of course, a fewrules for writing such letters, which youcan learn along the way.Individualsdonate,
  2. 2. Anup Tiwari heads fundraising and communications in Asia for a leading internationally-activechild rights-based organisation. He has also worked with international publishing houses andtaught in several B schools in the past. In his volunteering capacity, he writes in social-sectorpublications and speaks at fundraising workshops. The views expressed in the article are his ownand may not be ascribable to his organisation. Anup can be contacted at: anup.tiwari@gmail.com.>> Tele-face your donorYou might be tired of pesky callers whotry to sell you everything from creditcards to holidays, but think about it – itmight not work with you, but it musthave a high success rate for peopleto even try it. And it does work forsoliciting donations. Many organisationsuse the telephone as a fundraising tool.Organisations such as CRY, UNICEF,Plan and Oxfam successfully tele-face –that is, send a field executive to completethe donation transaction (and increasethe chances of donation).>> Raise funds digitallyDigital fundraising involves the Internet,e-mail, SMS, on-line advertising,managing search on engines like Googleetc. Often, it is also coupled withtraditional advertising on television andprint. This combination is called thedigital medium of fundraising.Do you need professionalhelp?If all those options listed above soundlike lots of work, they are. Fundraisingfrom individuals is the most sustainablesource of income for a voluntaryorganisation, but it needs hard work.And, just like the last new project startedby your organisation, it needs some seedcapital.Outsource your needsIf you are a voluntary organisation with alimited budget, low on direct marketingexpertise and a small or no team, theOutsourcing checklistl Do you have a limited budget?l Are you low on direct marketing experience?l Do you have a small or no team?l Are you willing to work closely with the outsourcing agency?good news is that there are now agenciesin India that can help you successfullyraise funds. Keep in mind, though, thatoutsourcing does not mean hiring anagency and leaving everything up tothem. Outsourcing can work well onlywhen you form a close relationship withthe agency working for you and monitorand support this relationship.What’s on the menuOutsourcing agencies offer a spectrum ofservices. They might:• Help with individual fundraising strategy, and outsource some parts of fundraising.• Specialise in a particular direct marketing tool and raise money for you for a fee. A lot of such agencies carry out face-to-face fundraising and tele-facing.• Provide lists for direct mailing, help design and produce direct mailers, handle the mailers, post them and more• Design and market your on-line fundraising campaignsWhy opt for a professionalProfessional agencies have expertisethat a voluntary organisation can drawon. They do charge a fee, but you getprofessional results and have to investless time, which again translates to savingmoney! The biggest advantage withcertain agencies, especially in tele-facingand face-to-face fundraising, is thatyou pay after you get the donations. Nodonations, no charges!Direct Marketing Fundraising Resources in IndiaScope of work NamesStrategy, Research, Hand-holding implementation,capacity buildingMurray Culshaw Consulting Pvt Ltd, ConceptSource, Resource Alliance, South AsianFundraising Group, DatamationList for sending Direct Mail Mailing Lists Asia (India), Datamation, RushabhMarketing,Yellow Umbrella, Direxions, Ogilvy OneDirect Mail Designing/On-line designing andmarketingDirexions, Ogilvy One, Mailing List Asia (India)Tele-facing Syrex Infoservices, InTouchFace to Face Support DirectOn-line payment gateway TechProcess, Bill Desk, CC AvenuesMail Handling/ Postage Modern Mailing, IGD Services, India Post, MailingList Asia (India), Direxions18 I Jan 2010 Raisers’Ask

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